Lecture 4 - Science Journalism - 2012


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  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Drjc-4SCUn4
  • Image of Carl Zimmer from The Loom, image of Steve Silberman from NeuroTribes
  • Lecture 4 - Science Journalism - 2012

    1. 1. + Lecture 4 Science Journalism
    2. 2. + Outline  Homework Review  Review of Science Journalism  Review of Readings  Science Journalism Activity  Homework
    3. 3. + PLOS  SURVEY: How many students, BEFORE ALES204, had read PLoS Blogs? (on class blog)  Write a Twitter Headline summarising your thoughts of PLoS Blogs  Remember to send to me (@JessL) and use #ALES204  REPLY to a fellow student’s headline (and send to me)
    4. 4. + Scientopia Blogs  In groups:  Note how many blogs are on Scientopia  Which blog articles caught your attention  Which article (or articles) did you read for homework  Note one interesting thing about that article you read and share with your group  I will come around and listen to your discussions (5-10 min)
    5. 5. + Not Exactly Rocket Science  Tweet me (@JessL) the name of the author  Tweet me one thing you learnt from the article your read while perusing this blog  5 min.
    6. 6. + Review  Science communication: explaining the science  Science popularization: making science popular, promoting science  Science journalism: critically assessing science and its claim  Your role: ALL THREE
    7. 7. + Is Journalism *Just* Writing?  Science writing NOT the same as science journalism  It is a subset of science communication or popularization  Journalists should be watchdogs not cheerleaders for science - working for the public’s interest not the researchers
    8. 8. + Carl Zimmer & Science Journalism
    9. 9. + Things to Keep in Mind  Know your Audience  Who is the intended audience of a particular news outlet? Are they reading about science regularly? Or is this just one among many other topics? Are they only half interested (as is often the case with radio) and do they need to be convinced to follow your stories?  Try to imagine that you are the readers friend or advocate, not her/his teacher. How can you inform, entertain or help her/him? Then decide which aspects of the topic you need to look into and which are less important.
    10. 10. + Digital Media: Use of Digital Media Tools for Science Journalism
    11. 11. + Science Journalism Gone Awry  Via Ed Wong on Not Exactly Rocket Science:  “The Atlantic publishes a terrible piece linking miRNAs (something found in all plants) to GM crops and their “very real dangers.” Nonsense. Emily Willingham takes down the poor science; Keith Kloor sorts out the poor journalism.”  Update 1/12: Thanks to science and biology bloggers, Christie Wilcox and Emily Willingham at the Scientific American blog network and The Biology Files, respectively, weve learned of the scientific inconsistencies made in Ari LeVauxs most recent Flash in the Pan column, which is syndicated by a number of newspapers and magazine websites. This column has been expanded and updated for AlterNet, with LeVaux discussing specific improvements in the comments.
    12. 12. + Knowing Your Audience and PLoS Blogs  Choose one of the blog posts at PLoS that you read for homework:  Think about the blogger’s writing style, which is most related: Science communication: explaining the science, Science popularization: making science popular, promoting science, or Science journalism: critically assessing science and its claim  Who do you think is the intended audience? How does the blogger convey her/his information?  In groups of 5-6, answer these questions in a comment on today’s lecture post (Lecture 5) on the class blog (note all group members in the comment).
    13. 13. + Homework  Read for Wed. one recent article from EACH blog:  @carlzimmer, The Loom: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/  @stevesilberman, NeuroTribes: http://blogs.plos.org/neurotribes/2011/01/10/why-cant-the- heroic-intern-who-saved-giffords-life-get-married-in-arizona/